Computational Methods Development
Much of my research is focused on the development of new algorithms and methods for problems in structural biology. In collaboration with researchers from Los Alamos National Lab, Duke University and Cambridge University we have developed a new software system with NIH Program Project funding and industrial funding, called PHENIX, for the automated solution of macromolecular structures using crystallographic and cryo-electron microscopy methods. With other NIH funding we have expanded the scope of PHENIX to include the analysis of neutron diffraction data.
Accelerator Resources for Structural Biology
As Division Deputy for Biosciences at the Advanced Light Source I help coordinate the biosciences activities and lead the Biosciences Council. An area of particular interest to me is the structural study of large macromolecular machines combining multiple experimental and computational methods.
The need to develop carbon-neutral and renewable sources of energy has become a priority. The conversion of cellulosic (plant) material to advanced biofuels has the potential to provide a significant fraction of transportation fuel in the future. As part of the Joint Bioenergy Institute I am developing new technologies to improve the conversion of biomass to fuels. We have also developed new methods for the chemical imaging of plant call wall material.